The last 20 months have left millions of Filipino families to stay home and to restrict their outdoor activities which they used to enjoy before the pandemic —dining out, traveling locally and abroad, and enjoying family Sundays at a mall or in the countryside. This global health crisis has also led to people seeking other forms of amusement, solitude, and recreation at the comfort of their homes such as planting, cooking, baking, working out, arts and crafts, and binge-watching. This will also be the second time around that most Filipinos are to celebrate the holidays with another looming health risk –a new variant of coronavirus disease. While there is nothing that can entirely get rid of this virus, there is still hope to make this season safer and worth celebrating for all.
There is an adage that says “it’s always the thought that counts” when it comes to giving presents to our friends and loved ones. However, many find it hard which gift to give and where to outsource it as many shoppers would flock to most physical and online stores. Others would always want to put their best foot forward and take it up a notch year after year by making their gifts extra unique, memorable, and personal.
While many are clueless on how they can channel warmth, love, and togetherness in this season of giving despite being physically apart, we always have a wide array of options in spending the holidays by sharing our blessings and at the same time patronizing a truly Filipino Christmas present.
With the growing interest of people for self-improvement to even doing home improvements, a Taytay-based home decor business took advantage of the opportunity to capture the hearts and minds of its customers this Christmas season. Crate Possibilities, an enterprise that specializes in wooden trays and crates, small furniture, decorative items, and table lamps, truly embraced its brand since 2017: to create infinite possibilities. Innovation has been embedded in this small business and has been key to its growth.
Catherine Padrinao, a mompreneur, and a TESDA-certified baker, and the owner of Crate Possibilities, has long been into entrepreneurship as her parents are local business owners, too, particularly in the furniture industry. With her in-depth understanding of how small businesses work and operate, coupled with her desire to always create satisfying and innovative products, Catherine initially ventured into baking after her husband encouraged her to take a baking course offered by the Technical Education And Skills Development Authority (TESDA).
The aim was for Catherine to have a renewed sense of creativity and productivity as she has been spending most of her precious time with her kids at home for quite some time. Eventually, she participated in a bazaar that was organized by the school where their kids are studying.
“How can I make my booth more presentable so parents and their children will be enticed to try and buy my baked products? My husband and I then realized that maybe we can use wooden crates and trays to showcase the cakes and pastries I baked,” Catherine said during the online interview.
“Apparently, those who were checking out our stall during the school bazaar have been more interested in the wooden crates and trays, although I bake really good,” she added.
From that experience, Mr. and Mrs. Padrinao started thinking about exploring a subfield of furniture business —home decors and small furniture. Catherine started creating mock-ups and chose which wooden materials are fitting for her designs. On the other hand, her husband has been helping her out in finding a viable market for their wooden products.
Her first batch of customers were home bakers like her, however, she realized that the crates and trays she made out of upcycled materials can also be used by other people who aren’t into the baking business. When she tried posting images of her products on Facebook, that’s when she gained the interest of non-bakers, thus expanding her product reach and clientele.
“We received orders from event stylists and [they] also used our products as packaging for wedding souvenirs,” she said.
Mrs. Padrinao’s creative process is also one-of-a-kind as she truly exudes what a loving and nurturing mother strives for: to make the home a place of comfort, hope, and inspiration through her wooden products.
“The pandemic opened a market for Crate Possibilities as many people wanted to remake their homes,” Catherine said when asked about how they expanded their business. True enough, home improvement tools, decorative items, and furniture were among the best-selling items in most e-commerce stores this year as per the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). Apart from being frequented by individual customers, she is also being tapped by event stylists, hotels, and resorts as the main supplier of wooden crates.
Catherine’s brainchild, Crate Possibilities, advocates for locally-produced home decors as it is important for every business to not only stay on trend but also preserve its Filipino identity. She also attends capability-building programs for MSME offered by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) as she believes that it is important to keep her business up-to-date in terms of standards, quality, and regulations.
To know more about Crate Possibilities and their products, visit their online store at www.cratepossibilities.com. You can also follow them on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/CratePossibilities and on Instagram @cratepossibilities.
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